13 Apr 2023 | Glory | 0 comments

Now, when the frail and fine-spun
Web of mortality
Gapes, and lets slip
What we have loved so long
From out our lighted present
Into the trackless dark
We turn, blinded,
Not to the Christ in Glory,
Stars about his feet,
But to the Son of Man,
Back from the tomb,
Who built fires, ate fish,
Spoke with friends, and walked
A dusty road at evening.
Here, in this room, in
This stark and timeless moment,
We hear those footsteps
With suddenly lifted hearts
The irrelevance of death.
Evangeline Paterson (1928-2000), Deathbed.

Notes from the Compiler

Sometimes pigeon-holed as a religious poet, Evangeline Paterson was a convinced Christian. Anne Stevenson comments: 'There is an exhilarating wide-openness about Evangeline Paterson’s work. Free of mannerism and self-conscious effort, her poems flow naturally and unembarrassed from a lyrical source that is not untampered by wit. Evangeline Paterson keeps her balance without sacrificing her strength of feeling. Her poems are wise, very womanly, but they are never preachy. They are perfectly clear without lapsing into cliché or sentimentality. In a juster world, her books would sell in thousands; her popularity among those who still believe poetry can be a comprehensible and entertaining art is assured.'


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